tv Martin Bashir MSNBC April 1, 2013 1:00pm-2:00pm PDT
martin, i know you can't wait to see that form. >> toure, as sarah palin is the sequ sequel. good afternoon, monday, april the 1st. in a country awash in gun violence, a shocking series of shootings has law enforcement on edge. >> we're going to get the latest now on the manhunt in texas for the killers of a district attorney and his wife gunned down in their home. >> seemed to me that this is not just a random act. >> this district attorney promised to take the scum off his streets. >> i hope that the people that did this are watch. >> he apparently carried a gun with him at all times even when he was balk walking his dog. >> an assault style rifle was used to fire multiple shots at mcclellan and his wife. >> i do not want it to happen again. >> a bridge too far for most of us. >> that legislation is going
nowhere. >> every single one of the 12 million people will vote against the republicans. >> preside11 million will have pathway to citizenship. it will be long and hard. >> the 12 million votes are going to the democrats. in texas this afternoon, governor rick perry is urging extra caution for everyone, particularly elected officials, as a massive manhunt is under way for the killer who gunned down a district attorney and his wife. mike and cynthia mcclellan were found shot dead in their home on saturday. just two months after the daylight ambush and burden, mclelland's deputy of mark hasse. it has put authorities on guard. >> we're very much on alert. we obviously have some folks that are out to do the harm to
elected officials. and so we take that very seriously. we're still in shock. i guess is the best way to describe our feelings about this latest incident. >> the alert has widened to houston where the chief prosecutor is under 24-hour protection. and while authorities have not yet offered a motive in the killings, the deaths of two top prosecutors are raising serious questions about a connection. >> it would seem to me that this is not just a random act. it would seem to me that there has to be some connection. it's my understanding they found no evidence that links the two, but, i mean, just -- this has to be more than a coincidence. >> speculation has quickly turned toward white supremacists. texas authorities warned of planned retaliations after an indictment late last year of 34 alleged members of the aryan
brotherhood of texas including four of its senior leaders on racketeering charges. in the wake of his deputy's death, mclelland raised the possibility it was payback for the prosecution and vowed to bring the perpetrators to justice. >> i hope that the people that did this are watching because we're very confident that we're going to find you, we're going to pull you out of whatever hole you're in, we're going to bring you back and let the people of kaufman county prosecute you to the fullest extent of the law. >> mclelland told the "associated press" he started carrying a gun for protection and answering his door more carefully. tragically, it's now up to law enforcement agencies to find out who's behind his death along with the frightening question, who might be targeted next? for more than on this joined by
mark potok, intelligence director from the southern poverty law center with us from montgomery, alabama. good afternoon, sir. >> a pleasure to be with you, martin. >> you described the aryan brotherhood of texas as probably the most violent white supremacist gang in the country. is this gang solely based on racial hatred? and how do you think they might be linked to these killings? >> well, like most of these race-based prison gangs, they are fundamentally a criminal enterprise. they are certainly white supremaci supremacists, but when push comes to shove, that is quickly set aside in the interests of criminal enterprise. so what i mean is the aryan brotherhood of texas is perfectly willing to make alliances with nonwhite prison gangs, with the mexican mafia. those kinds of groups if, in fact, it feels it can make more money doing things like its principle occupation which is is running methamphetamine and other kinds of drugs.
i mean, the connection to these cases is pretty graphic, although as you said in your intro, really entirely circumstantial. there has been a real crackdown by authorities in texas on the aryan brotherhood of texas in the last several years and that crackdown really culminated last november in the arrests of these 34 members including 4 of its main leaders. you know, it was merely the next month that the department of public safety in texas warned that they had learned of payback plans of some kind of retaliation from abt, and a month after that, that mark hasse, a prosecutor in kauffman county, was murdered. this was a real execution. the man got out of his car. he was sat upon by two people who were apparently wearing bulletproof vests who were thought to have been wearing masks who shot him. then apparently either collected their shell casings or had shell casing catchers. but, in fact, left no evidence.
they took off in a car. that car was stolen, and they disappeared. now, of course, almost exactly two months later, mike and cynthia mclelland were murdered and it looks, you know, mclelland also was involved in prosecutions and had said some pretty tough things in his press conference. >> now, investigators are also pursuing links with colorado state prison chief, shot and killed at his home on march the 19th. what kind of connection do you think there might be with his death? >> well, of course, we don't know. what we do know, for sure, is that a man named evan eeble, a member of a white supremacist prison gang in colorado, something called the 211 crew, was the shooter, was the assassin of tom clements. he was killed a couple days later in a shootout with texas authorities and his gun was found to match perfectly ballistically the gun that was used, in packet, to murder tom clements. now, you know, could this in
some way be related? could these actually be the same people? we don't know. what we know is aryan brotherhood of texas is very much a regional organization in texas. just as the 211 is a regional organization in colorado. they both were heavily into methamphetamines and it seems to me conceivable they had some kind of alliance. i don't know that. but they may have essentially been dividing territory up between them and they may be trading favors in attacking the authorities who have come down so hard on both of their gangs in the last several years. >> mark potok, thanks so much for joining us. >> my pleasure. as we confront another series of tragic killings, lawmakers appear to be even more reluctant to take any action to prevent gun violence in this nation. with two republican senators effectively dismissing efforts to even try to keep guns out of criminal hands. >> why in the world would you expand that system if you're not enforcing the law that exists today to include private
transfers? i think that legislation's going nowhere. >> universal background checks, i think, is a bridge too far for most of us. >> joining us now from washington, msnbc political analyst, karen finney. karen, in the fight over gun safety reform, it seems pretty tough to challenge the idea of background checks which 90% of the nation supports. and yet senator flake says it's a bridge too far because of too much paperwork. that's actually what he said. what's your reaction to that? >> well, my reaction is i hope all of the groups that have been doing such an incredible job creating the momentum and energy to sort of counterbalance the nra and these kind of foolish comments from these senators, i hope they're outraged. i hope their answer is, how dare you? because as this case, you know, obviously we're going to learn much more about what happened in texas, but i think the one thing we do know is that it shows us as gun safety advocates have been saying all along, we need a multipronged approach. it isn't just about school safety. it isn't just about mental
health. it is about background checks. law enforcement has said that is one of the most effective things from their perspective. we aught to listen to them. it's about multiple points of entry we have to attack this problem which i think, you know, again, just suggests, you know, these legislators in addition to the guys who are saying they're going to filibuster are totally out of touch trying to avoid reality here. >> karen, some have suggested that the president may be responsible for this impasse. that he didn't act soon enough. but he appointed his vice president to lead a task force. signed executive orders as soon as the task force presented their findings. he's been around the country urging lawmakers to take action. what else can the president do when elected officials prefer to listen to the nra as opposed to 90% of the people in this country? >> right. the nra which is making money off of the sales of guns and ammo, don't forget, right? no, i mean, look, i think that's a ludicrous argument. i don't think you would see the polls in the place that they
were were it not for the work and advocacy of president obama. gabby giffords and her husband, mark kelly, and others working hard, mayors against illegal guns, to really create a solid counterbalance and counterweight and try to hold legislators accountable. i think we're going to see the president back out on the campaign trail, and i say campaign meaning campaigning for this issue, next week, and i think he's been very clear he'll continue to be very aggressive on this. >> karen, you anticipated me, because i'd like you to listen to gabby giffords' husband, mark kelly, who had a warning for those who think that no possible change can occur in elective terms. take a listen to him. >> so they should listen to their constituents and certainly shouldn't be getting in the way of the process which is to debate the bill and it vote on the bill. i mean, that doesn't make any sense. and i imagine that at some point if they actually do this, their constituents will hold them accountable for those action. >> do you think he's right,
karen? do you think they could genuinely face political consequences? >> i absolutely do, and i hope the groups that are mobilized absolutely ensure that they will. and i think one of the most important things, you know, this is the technicality of this filibuster, you know, as you know, martin, is that what it may end up doing is basically shielding some members of congress from having to get on the record and be accountable to the people who elected them. >> that's the game. >> right. that's the game. so as the president said, people deserve a vote. if you're going to go against the will of the american people, they have a right to know that's your position. >> absolutely. cowards, all of them. karen finney, thank you so much. >> thanks, martin. next, the u.s. sends stealth fighters to south korea. is this the latest sign of a degenerating situation in the region? stay with us. >> this kind of rhetoric does not benefit the north korean people. it does not benefit the north korean regime. and it only isolates them further.
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i think the real threat is to what north korea might be boxing itself into. kim jong-un is trying to establish himself. he's trying to be the tough guy. he is 28, 29 years old. and he keeps going further and further out. i don't know if he can get himself back in. >> how seriously should we take north korea's threat of a full scale nuclear attack upon the united states? pretty seriously, if this image is to be believed. north korea's state-run media released a photo showing leader kim jong-un conferring with his military advisers, and in the
background you can see a map that's marked "strategic forces plan to hit the mainland of the u.s." just today, north korea's parliament has endorsed plans to give nuclear weapons much greater prominence in country's defenses. joining us now from seoul, nbc's jim maceda. jim, the workers party called yesterday for an expansion of their nuclear forces. the nation has already said it's in a state of war with the south. today the parliament has issued an ordinance on nuclear weapons. is this the bluster of a young leader trying to impress his people, or is this a mad man about to provoke a war? >> reporter: hi, martin. good to be with you here. very wet, i'm afraid, but still very quiet. at least in seoul. let me step back just a little bit. it's always been extremely unlikely that kim jong-il, sorry, kim jong-un -- still making that mistake -- would make a full-scale offensive against the south.
that is using his full array of artillery, missiles, some 700,000 soldiers amassed at his border with the south. kim jong-un is young. he's naive. but he's not crazy. and he wouldn't sacrifice his country, at least that's how the thinking goes, in a battle that he knows he couldn't win. much more likely would be a much smaller strike. like if you recall that torpedo attack three years ago on a south korean vessel that killed almost 50 south korean sailors. that kind of a strike is possible. u.s./south korea war games are going on right now, and for another month. we know how much those games antagonize kim jong-un. so striking a small south korean ship, again, is a real threat. why would he do this? well, as you suggested in your lead, martin, to gain street credibility. with the community, with the top military brass. he started from scratch two years ago, and these kinds of
virtual or semi-wars do wonders. martin? >> jim maceda there in seoul. thanks so much, jim. let's get right to our next guest, former new mexico governor bill richardson has served as a special envoy to north korea on sensitive international missions and a former ambassador to the united nations. good afternoon, sir. >> nice to be with you. >> is this leader about to stumble toward a serious military conflict? war by accident? or because he wants to impress his people who know that he never served in the military and he needs, in some way, to prove that he can be as belligerent as anyone else? >> well, martin, the danger is that he will stumble on some conflict, something in the yellow sea, a naval skirmish. he's not going to attack the united states. i don't think there's a full-scale military attack against the south because the north koreans know that will
draw in the united states. the danger is a miscalculation, a misjudgment on his part. one, because he's backed into a corner. secondly, because he's trying to impress his own hardliners, his own military, the party congress that is obviously very hostile, to the new sanctions that the u.s. and other countries have imposed. so it's not just bluster. yeah, there's bluster. they're always like this, to improve a negotiating position. but this time because of the uncertainty of the leadership and who's pulling the strings, this is a bit worrisome. >> the president's administration here has described itself as operating under a kind of strategic patience. but we know that we've sent f-22 stealth fighters, b-2 stealth bombers. is this action, itself, and, of course, ships are being positioned in the pacific for that very purpose. does that suggest to you,
governor, that the president's patience is running out? >> well, i'm not privy to the administration's discussions. they don't ask my opinion. my view is that the president so far has handled it well, that these b-2, b-1 stealth bomber initiatives are an appropriate respon response, especially with that overheated rhetoric of north korea. i just think, martin, there has to be an end game, and the end game has to involve how can we get north korea to not just cool down right now, not get into a skirmish with the south, but eventually reduce its nuclear weapons or end them? the party congress action this weekend is not helpful there. i think the answer is some kind of creative diplomacy. either china hat has leverage over north korea but has been unwilling to use it. the six-party countries. maybe the united states sends an
envoy unofficially to talk to the new leadership of north korea. but you know, it's uncertain whether he'll even see anybody. i was there with eric schmidt of google. we tried to see him, but instead he invited dennis rodman. so it's really uncertain what this new guy is ready to do and who he's willing to talk to. >> that would seem funny if it were not for the fact there are concerns that north korea may actually start exporting some of this nuclear technology. say, for example, to iran. because we know, don't we, that they did send a nuclear reactor to syria around 2004/2005. are you concerned at all about some of this material, some of this technology being shipped out of north korea to places like iran? >> well, yes, i am concerned because the north koreans have very little opportunity for foreign exchange. with the sanctions on them, even these latest banking sanctions, they've got to get foreign
exchange from somewhere. and the danger is that they'll start actively pursuing export of nuclear technology, enriched uranium. pakistan, syria, al qaeda. there's a danger of that. i don't think there's anything specific with iran yet, but it wouldn't surprise me if this isn't another part of their strategy, and that's extremely worriso worrisome, too. >> indeed. looking down road, we hear that north rea is not yet able to send nuclear warheads all the way over to the mainland of the united states, but they are working toward that goal. and if so, how long do you think it will take before they'll be able to achieve that? >> well, i think it's clear they don't have it right now, martin, but i think if you look at their launches recently, they've been very cagy. it could be that their progress is faster than we think. i don't think they're ready to hit the united states mainland
right now. certainly in korea, our bases in japan, i think they can reach that. but the danger is, once again, uncertainty. what we need to do is find ways to engage them so that they don't pursue these goals. the people there economically are in terrible shape. i think eventually, and hopefully this is what's happening, they're preparing for a grand bargain negotiation with the six-party countries surrounding them where they get food, fuel, end of sanctions, end of the state of war. hopefully that's their end game. that has been the end game of the last few regimes. but with this new leader, who knows what their end game is. that's the trouble. and we can't be cavalier toward a country that has close to five to six nuclear weapons. missile launches. over 1 million men in arms. we have 300,000 troops on the
vmz. our friends are south korea and japan. so this is a tinderbox that we have to keep looking at. >> ambassador, former governor bill richardson. sir, thank you so much for joining us. >> thank you. coming up, will marco rubio put his own ego ahead of 11 men, women, and children? yes? stay with us. >> if the democrat version of this happens, it's going to be amnesty, and if that happens, it won't matter. the republican party's finished anyway. whether it's official or not. they're never going to win another election. [ female announcer ] your smile.
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from doodle paranoia on april fool's day, to lawyers, guns and immigration. here are today's top lines. play ball. >> does anybody have a score on red sox or nationals? >> among those watching the game, the president of the united states. >> you were expecting somebody else. april fool's on all you all. >> bo obama showing off his easter rabbit. >> easter, him, easter, him. >> historical figure. influential person. >> the large bunny behind me, steve, there's snoopy and charlie brown. >> kids, eat your vegetables. >> we have to do better to see our defense of marriage is not reduced to an attack on gay people. >> could you support a republican presidential candidate who supported same-sex marriage? >> i would think that's inevitable. >> i admit haven't been too good
at that. >> i'm working very hard to come up with a background check bill that will be acceptable to 60 senators. >> i would say to marco rubio that 94% of his constituents support a universal background chec check. rand paul, 83%. >> they're not comfortable with the idea of the government knowing exactly what firearm they're purchasing any more than they'd be comfortable with the government knowing when or how often they go to church, what they eat for breakfast. >> universal background checks is a bridge too far for most of us. >> none of what we're talking about would prevent newtown from happening. >> this is a legacy bill for him. >> every single one of those 12 million people will be voting against the republicans. those 12 million votes are going to the democrats no matter what. >> it will be little kerfuffles. >> i don't think he'll walk away. i talked to marco. he is protecting some of the things he thinks are very important. >> that doesn't mean we crossed every "i" or dotted every "t" or
vice versa. >> angela rye, political principal of impact strategies and nia-malika henderson, reporter for the "washington post." nia-malika, i go away and take my daughter on a college tour, democrats, republicans, business, labor, believe there may be a deal for comprehensive immigration reform on the table. do you think it's time to put the champagne on ice? >> maybe you should go away more often. >> thank you. >> and things like this will happen. >> yes. >> much more often. you know, this is a reason to celebrate for those that want to see immigration reform get done because you had a situation as little as a week ago where you had the u.s. chamber of commerce in labor at loggerheads, not speaking, unable to figure out a way forward on the guest worker program. it looks like they've nailed down details around that. the amount of guest workers they'd allow into the country, anywhere from 20,000 to 200,000. you remember in 2007, this was a
big sticking point and you had republicans already preparing to blame unions for any immigration deal that collapsed. they were essentially ready to point the finger at unions again. but i think, you know, we've seen a lot of progress on this. we'll probably see more details, outlines of a bill coming forward. i think the prediction is by next month we'll see something. >> angela, not to get too excited, marco rubio took great efforts this weekend to apply the brakes and essentially he said there's no deal yet. what game is mr. rubio actually playing? and i don't wish to be suspicious, but do you think he's slightly concerned that he might not get any credit for something if it moves too quickly? >> martin, it was marco rubio's early april fool's day joke. >> right. >> i don't know really, but i think what we see here is marco
rubio continuing to play to the far extreme right wing of the party. we know that any potential progress on a deal, this right wing of the gop will continue to brand it as amnesty for 11 million people, undocumented people. and they continue to perpetuate the problems, the stereotypes, the prejudice that exists for people in this country. and so we have to look at the progress that is being made. we see that there are folks that are working very diligently to find a pathway forward for 11 million undocumented, as well as other programs that impact other members of congress. for example, there are sticking points such as a diversity visa, for all intents and purposes sounds like it's out of the deal. there are a lot of members diligently working to ensure they'll still have access and protect this type of program for folks who are from other aspects and spaces and places in the world. >> indeed.
n nia-malika, let me play you something from rush limbaugh. he said this about immigration today. listen. >> if the democrat version of this happens, it's going to be amnesty, and if that happens, it won't matter. the republican party's finished anyway. whether it's official or not. they're never going to win another election. >> nia-malika, it doesn't sound like rush limbaugh expects the gop to win over many hispanic voters any time soon, does it? >> that's right. he's obviously looking at history here in some ways. romney didn't do too well. he got 23%, 24%, 25% down from the historic highs we saw george bush reach. you have a situation where rubio on one hand is trying to persuade conservatives, persuade people like rush limbaugh, but he's also reaching out to immigration folks, pro-immigration folks. i talked to a latino pollster. he said the best thing that rubio can do is to keep seeming like he's a leader on this issue. on the other hand, i talked to a conservative iowa tea party guy. he said the best thing rubio can
do is to kill immigration. so those are the sort of two warring factions of it. rubio is dealing with here. i think if you look at the sort of overarching narrative here, he's obviously going to run for president in 2016 or i should say most likely. if he is only -- if he says he can get, say, 15% additional, more, you know, latinos to actually vote republican, then he would be a real contender. of course, he's got to get through the republican primary first. and that's why he is pushing in some ways these sort of moderate republicans like mccain, not seeming to be too close to those because he's still got to keep his bona fides with the conservatives. >> of course. to that point, angela, let me show everyone a new gallup poll. it shows voters' top complaint about republicans. and even among gop voters, the top complaint is a failure to compromise. could whatever marco rubio is doing, angela, here, backfire on him because he may not end up
compromising? >> well, it will with the rest of the country, martin, but, again, we have this far, very extreme wing of the party that he continues to appeal to. these are the tea party folks. you know, this is the reason for this resurgence of this movement. in 2010 when folks just wanted to take their country back. so in part of taking their country back, i think immigration is a large part of that. and he's going to continue to push for that because that is the reason why he's here. the tea party is his base. >> nia-malika henderson, angela rye, thank you both for your expertise. next, is the atlanta cheating scandal an isolated incident? or further proof that turning the classroom into a business is a very bad idea? stay with us. music ... music ...
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the indictment of 35 educational professionals. among them, is dr. beverly hall, the one time superintendent of atlanta schools. in 2009, she was named superintendent of the year and hosted at the white house by education secretary arne duncan. today she stands accused of theft, making false statements, and conspiracy to rig the results of standardized test scores. the indictment could mean 45 years behind bars for dr. hall. but they also mean trouble for federal education policies which link financial rewards to educators in schools in return for high performance on standardized tests. we're joined now by msnbc contributor professor james peterson, director of africana studies at lehigh university. with me in new york, dana goldstein, fellow at the new america foundation and at the nation institute. dana, this is certainly bad news for dr. hall and also for the 34 educators in atlanta who have
been indicted, but this is not an isolated problem in the united states, is it? >> no, it's not. a 2011 investigation by "usa today" found nearly 2,000 instances where it would be more likely to win the powerball than to see the kind of test score jumps that we're seeing across country. >> statistically more likely to win lottery than to see the kind of increased improved performances. >> yeah, to win the powerball. and in atlanta, it was one in a billion chance of a random or legitimate jump in these test scores. >> wow. professor peterson, please allow me to read something to you. it's a prophecy of sorts by two economists who in 2003 wrote, "as incentives for high test scores increase, unscrupulous teachers may be more likely to engage in a range of illicit activities including changing student responses on answer sheets, providing correct answers to students or obtaining copies of an exam illegitimately prior to the test date."
now, changing student responses on answer sheets, isn't that exactly what happened in atlanta? >> that is exactly what happened. that is possible it's happened in other school districts, and there are a lot of different ways to cheat in some of these environments. at the end of the day, and dana's piece on "slate" this past summer was really, really on point in a sense that high-stakes testing is having these kinds of results. we don't want to exonerate any of the teachers or administrators who participated or covered up any of these cheating scandals but it's the way in which teachers and principals are incentivized through no child left behind and race to the top that creates an environment where cheating is pref preferable to losing one's job. people want to make big bonuses based upon high-stakes testing. again, we're not sure if this kind of testing is the best way to assess students and/or teachers. another sort of economic phrase, the opportunity cost of this high-stakes testing moment is
we're probably not doing enough to improve actual education for our kids. >> indeed. dana, education secretary arne dun duncan, as you know, supported high-stakes testing. in 2011 he wrote in the "washington post" "the existence of cheating says nothing about the merits of testing." now to professor peterson's point, does he have a point? >> he has a point is testing is an important measure of what students know. >> what other means do educators have of assessing a child's performance? >> right. tests are great for assessing a child's performance. most statisticians say they're not so good at taking the extra leap to what a teacher does or principal does. we're using tests for something they're not really intended to do, and that's the problem. not the test, themselves, but the accountability policies tied to them. >> professor peterson, one of the difficulties, you make the point well when you say these perverse incentives encourage the kind of cheating if you know the reward at the end of it is $10,000 or $50,000 extra. >> or keeping your job.
>> or keeping your job. i accept that. but also isn't the fact of the matter when you have a child, both of whose parents may be in jail, who's in the care of a local authority, who may suffer all kinds of issues personally, how on earth is that child going to be helped by simply testing in this kind of brutal way? that isn't going to improve that child's performance overnight, is it? >> it's not. i mean, these tests are essentially a shortcut. i am not going to concede that they're effective at assessing students who have those kind of challenges that you're talking about, martin. first of all, in a lot of the environments we're seeing teachers teach to these standardized test when we could have a holistic approach to the curriculum. students who are hungry, coming from impoverished and sort of challenged homes have in our classrooms. so i think we need to have a more holistic, comprehensive and long-term oriented strategy when it comes to reform.
testing obviously will always be a part of that. it can't have the kind of impact it has right now and us have a heal healthy reformed process going forward. >> dana, dr. hall enjoys the presumption of evidence until she's proving guilty. "the new york times" reports she's received more than $500,000 in performance bonuses while superintendent. $500,000. >> your introduction is really right on. this is about bringing corporate practices into the classroom, into schools. the question is whether we really want to financially incentivize these sorts of behaviors. she's a uniquely bad apple. t the culture of cheating she fostered in atlanta is unusual. thisven type of reform can have positive effects in knowing what students know is incentivizing people like her making her more powerful. >> dana goldstein, professor
james peterson, thank you both. next, sarah palin, a political consultant's dream come true. first, julia boorstin has the cnbc market wrap. good afternoon, julia. >> good afternoon to you, martin. the s&p 500 ends lower on the first day of the quarter for the first time since the fourth quarter of 2011 as apple drops 3%. the dow ending down 5 1/2 points. the s&p 500 lower by 7. the nasdaq down more than 28 points. the s&p 500 and the markets taking a breather on weaker than expected manufacturing reports. after the s&p finally broke through its record close last week. that's it from cnbc. first in business worldwide. [ male announcer] surprise -- you're having triplets. [ babies crying ] surprise -- your house was built on an ancient burial ground. [ ghosts moaning ] surprise -- your car needs a new transmission.
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toss the political scripts. because if we truly know what we believe we don't need professionals to tell us. >> sarah palin wants you to know she absolutely hates and loathes consultants. won't hear of them. cpac and, again, in a new ad, they are depicted as the root of the gop's current malaise. if you believe the same, donate a to help sarah palin against consultants. what will your donation be used for? consultants, of course. she spent almost $5 million in the last year versus only about $300,000 supporting actual candidates. joining us now is democratic strategist julian epstein. juli julian, most political commentators long discarded sarah palin's contribution to the dust bin of republican history, yet the gop still seems to struggle with extricating itself from people like her.
why is that? >> well, her popularity is declining inside the gop, and i think even for the gop, on a very clear day -- >> julian, she had the longest speech allocation at cpac. you're saying she's declining? she was given more time than anyone else to speak at cpac. >> but her popularity is declining in most polls including in republican circles. and i think most republicans, martin, would tell you on a clear day in alaska you can see her greed and her lust for celebrity very clearly in a way she could see russia from alaska on a clear day. look, i think at the bottom of the day, this is a roman candle receding. in large part because i think she's increasingly seen, includes in republican circles as an empty suit. this phony populism, let's put the consultants on four lourlou spent 95% of her $5 million as you pointed out on consultants. she -- if you listen to her new pac, sarah pac, she inveighs in
the entire pac and elsewhere against the lamestream media. what is on that video? it's clips from the mainstream media talking about sarah palin being relevant. this person has endless contradictions and i think that to a great extent, the reason that the republicans in 2008 would not make her available to cross-examination is because they knew that she was just not only a walking contradiction on her behavior, but she was essentially bereft of any kind of substance. she had no policy ideas to offer. what she offers today, phony pop list, against consultants, against washington, against the lamestream media though her behavior contradicts that. she's even against the republican establishment. she can't articulate a single thing she's for. >> of course. what do you make of her relationship, julian, with senator ted cruz? because he is an increasingly
powerful voice on the far right of the party. and he was the person who introduced her at cpac. what do you think that dynamic is about? >> well, i think that that, again, represents the hardcore solid tea party base which 20% of the public used to identify with the tea party base. now it's down to 9%. i mean, i think this is the struggle that the republican party has been going through. whether or not it wants to try to appease and send cat nip to this base or whether it wants to make itself a national party. right now going in the direction of sarah palin and ted cruz, this party is a regingal party, a party that's increasesingly old and dying out when the electorate is changing rapidly. it's fine for democrats like myself if they want to continue to pay homage to sarah palin, but i think we're going to look back in a couple years and regard sarah palin as a one-hit wonder. she's got $1 million in her pac right now which is hardly the
kind of resources you'd expect of a major leader inside party. i think the phoniness of her populism, i think her lack of substance, and i think all of these contradictions, the contradictions on the consultants, the contradictions we have pointed out on the fact she loves to criticize the lamestream media when she invokes the lamestream media to help generate money. these things are wearing very, very thin. i think we'll look back on her and see her as a one-hit wonder. >> one-hit wonder indeed. julian epstein. thank you. >> thank you, martin. >> we'll be right back. if they, us, we, the little people, the little guys, had one message to send to washington, i'm sure it would be this. get over yourself. it's not about you. [ male announcer ] this is kevin. to prove to you that aleve is the better choice for him, he's agreed to give it up. that's today? [ male announcer ] we'll be with him all day as he goes back to taking tylenol. i was okay, but after lunch my knee started to hurt again. and now i've got to take more pills.
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